Kingston, Jamaica: India's stand-in captain Virat Kohli conceded that the calming presence of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was missed during the high-pressure ODI tri-series match against West Indies which the hosts won by a solitary wicket after a nail-biting chase.
Dhoni, who suffered from cramps while batting didn't come out to field and it was Kohli who led the side in the match, which saw the Caribbeans huff and puff to a modest 230-run target.
"There were times when you are under pressure and you miss him (Dhoni) because he remains calm under pressure," a disappointed Kohli admitted at the post-match presentation ceremony here.
Kohli assessed that there was marked change in the behaviour of the wicket when West Indies batted.
"The way the wicket played in the second innings, the score wasn't enough, but it was completely different in the morning, it was damp, it became better for batting later on," he said.
Kohli praised his bowlers for keeping them in the game but felt they were unlucky as a few edges didn't carry to the fielders.
"We tried to take as many wickets as possible, one or two edges going to the fielders would have been different, we were close to winning it.
"There was a bit of spongy bounce in the morning and Narine was getting some turn. It was just a matter of one wicket. It was a great fight by us and good entertainment. West Indies had a great game," the young captain said.
West Indies' stand-in captain Kieron Pollard wasn't happy that the match went down to the wire.
"We find ways to get into these positions, but we won in the end. Teams of the past could have just fallen, that shows the belief of everyone in the team, victories such as these bring us together," a visibly satisfied Pollard said.
Pollard said the main goal was to go to Trinidad with two wins and he is happy that the team has been able to achieve that.
"We wanted to go to Trinidad with two wins, does not matter how we have done it, but we have. We should not be overconfident though, should win these sort of games easily. Thanks to the crowd for the support.
"(Dwayne) Bravo (sitting out) was precautionary, we have Pakistan coming up, he has five or six days to get ready, hopefully he should be taking the mantle in Trinidad, with Ravi we are not sure."
Man-of-the-match Johnson Charles, who struck an attractive 97, was happy that he could make amends after his struggle against Sri Lanka in the opening match of the tournament.
"This was a good innings as in the previous game, I struggled a bit. Myself and (Darren) Bravo have always batted well together as I enjoy batting alongside him," Charles said.
The 24-year-old opener admitted that the pitch flattened out in the second half.
"Wicket improved a bit as it got flatter and was more of a batting pitch. I would have liked to get a three-figure mark and carry my team to victory. I am a bit disappointed about it," he concluded.
Story first published on: Monday, 01 July 2013 10:54 IST